Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Plan Your House Hunting Efficiently and Avoid Stress

With so many houses on the market now, buyers can be overwhelmed if they don’t have a plan.

With the number of houses on the market now, searching for that perfect property can be time consuming and sometimes frustrating. The number of homes potential buyers want to see has increased dramatically in the last couple of years, with buyers searching for the perfect home at the perfect price.

How do you cut through the process and become efficient in your search? First, be honest with yourself and your Realtor. Make a list of all the features you want in a home and stick to it as much as possible. That includes location. By not straying, you and your agent can be much more efficient.

Be fair about what you can pay. While homes at the very upper end of your budget may dazzle you, spending time on the unobtainable is inefficient. Keep in mind that buying a house is a very long-term financial commitment.

Almost nine out of 10 homebuyers start their search online. Here you can see virtual tours and get a feel for the property. Download the information and put it in a binder that you will refer to frequently. Set up a driving tour by using an online map application. That will guide you in a logical route and you won’t waste time and gas.

The market has been flooded with short sales and foreclosures. What if the home you find falls in one of those categories? Are you ready and patient enough to deal with the special circumstances surrounding these properties? The bank owns foreclosures and there is virtually no variation in price, plus the property may have been neglected and will need extensive repairs after you buy it. Short sale properties are usually in better shape, but, since the buyer will be dealing with the seller as well as the bank, negotiations can take months. If you see a foreclosure in your future, work with a Realtor who specializes in this type of sale. You want an agent who is experienced and can work through this lengthy process.

Trust your emotions. If you feel an initial connection with the home, give it serious consideration. Be cautious about seeing the next home and the next home, hoping an amazing bargain is right around the corner when you heart lies with the first one you saw.

When you find that special home, be flexible during negotiations. Just because more homes are available doesn’t mean you can walk away with a very lowball offer. You want to get to a place where both you and the seller are comfortable and the price is fair market value.

With a bit of focus and planning you can land your new home efficiently and start your new life without stress and tension.

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